Health Highlights: Dec. 3, 2015

Health Highlights: Dec. 3, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Petition for Research into Gun Violence Delivered to Congress Hours Before San Bernardino Shooting

Just hours before Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., a petition from doctors asking that a restriction on research into gun violence be lifted was delivered to Congress.

The petition signed by more than 2,000 doctors nationwide targets a nearly two decades-old amendment that blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from doing research on gun violence, the Washington Post reported.

The doctors who delivered the petition said gun violence must be viewed as a public health epidemic in the United States and research is needed to find ways to solve the problem, as would be done with any other health issue that kills thousands of Americans each year.

“It is disappointing that we have made little progress over the past 20 years in finding solutions to gun violence,” said New York physician Nina Agrawal, a member of the advocacy group Doctors for America, according to the group’s Twitter feed, the Post reported.

The amendment restricting federal funding for research into gun violence and its impact on public health was authored by former Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas. He now agrees that research is needed, according to a letter cited by Doctors for America.

“Research could have been continued on gun violence without infringing on the rights of gun owners,” Dickey wrote, the Post reported. “Somehow or someway we should slowly but methodically fund such research until a solution is reached. Doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution.”

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